From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: The Los Angeles Lakers have, at times, shown to have a great many problems this season. Problems with turnovers. Problems with defense. Problems with shooting. Problems with chemistry. But there is one problem that stands above all, one problem the Lakers have never shown any indication of having a solution for: When adversity has come calling, the Lakers have always, always failed to meet the call.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: One by one, the Lakers were introduced before their game. Predictably, loud boos followed. But Phoenix Suns fans couldn’t dismiss the guy affectionately known as “Two-Time” around here. So they cheered whenSteve Nash’s name was called. There were some boos as well, some fans feeling slighted that Nash green-lighted a trade last July to the Lakers, a Pacific Division rival. If only they had heard what Nash told reporters before Wednesday’s game.”It’s a special, special place,” he said, summing up his 10 seasons with the Suns over two tours. “It’s unfortunate that all things come to an end, but to be able to come back and still be playing, I feel the energy here and it’s terrific.”
From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: The Los Angeles Lakers’ all-important seven-game road trip started off by adding insult — a 92-86 loss to the Phoenix Suns after blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead — to injury, with Dwight Howard aggravating the torn labrum in his right shoulder. Howard was blocked by the Suns’ Shannon Brown with 6:57 remaining in the fourth as he tried to bring the ball from his waist up to the hoop following an offensive rebound and went down to the floor in pain. Howard checked out of the game and did not return as the Suns finished on a 19-8 run without him. Howard’s shoulder will be re-evaluated Thursday after the team flies to Minneapolis and his availability for Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves will be determined.”It’s real sore,” Howard told reporters after icing his shoulder and applying kinesiology tape to the joint following the game. “Everything on (the right) side (of my body) is hurting pretty bad right now.”
From Marc Quaranta, Lakers Nation: Before the Lakers tipped off against the Phoenix Suns last night, they were still dealing with internal problems. Pau Gasol wasn’t happy with his benching in the fourth quarter of the Lakers 111-106 win over the New Orleans Hornets and voiced his displeasure. This was the fourth time that Gasol had been benched in the fourth quarter and he still isn’t sure why it is happening. Pau had said that if they found a winning formula, he didn’t care what the rotation looked like. He was upset because the team was losing and he couldn’t do anything about it riding the bench. Well, the Lakers won three in a row going into last night’s game, but Pau was still voicing his unhappiness.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The Lakers have been fragile all season. They still are. Dwight Howard’s shoulder couldn’t be handled with enough care Wednesday night, and the Lakers’ burgeoning optimism was stuffed by a come-from-ahead 92-86 loss to an also-ran Phoenix Suns team that came in lamenting the offseason departure of Steve Nash to the Lakers. The Lakers led, 78-73, when Howard went out — and they lost the poise and flow that marked their past three games — all victories. The Lakers got stagnant — it didn’t help them that Pau Gasol played almost the entire second half because of Earl Clark’s foul trouble and then Howard’s injury.